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July 29, 2013 @ 4:15 pm
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Inside Bucs Training Camp 7-29

Written by Pewter
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Which Buccaneers defenders recorded sacks during Monday's practice? Which Tampa Bay defensive backs nearly recorded interceptions? Get the inside scoop from One Buccaneer Place with in-depth practice report from PewterReport.com.
Tampa Bay hit the practice field for the last time before its first break in the training camp schedule. Players will have the day off on Tuesday before practice resumes at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday. Once again the Bucs players donned full pads under hot and sunny skies.

The Buccaneers rolled out their first-team offense on Monday with tight end Tom Crabtree as a starter for the first time. Nate Byham was relegated to the second-team and Danny Noble and Zach Miller rounded out the tight end group on the third-team. 

Rookie running back Mike James, the team's sixth-round pick out of Miami this year, hit the field today as the team’s second-team running back over Brian Leonard, Michael Smith, and Peyton Hillis. 

After stretching and before the players broke off into units for their individual periods, the team worked a few minutes on special teams exercises.

Things got a little bit chippy during a special teams drill between defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and offensive tackle Donald Penn. The two went against each other on a field goal rep and got up into each other’s facemasks, but the two were broken up relatively quickly and they no problems for the rest of the practice.

Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams went back to catch punts during the punt return portion of practice but dropped his attempt at fielding Chas Henry’s kick. Shortly after during quarterback and receiver warm-ups, Williams also dropped a fade pass from Freeman on the sidelines and then in frustration punted the ball away.

The defensive lineman went to the end of the field to work on improving their technique against double teams from offensive linemen. 

Starting end Adrian Clayborn easily handled a double team, while fellow end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim destroyed tackle Jason Weaver on a swim move later on in the drill. 

Penn had another heated encounter with a teammate when rookie end William Gholston went against the veteran early on in practice. Other linemen quickly stepped in to break up the scuffle, limiting further escalation of the altercation. 

In 1-on-1 red zone drills, Williams made an outstanding adjustment in order to make a touchdown catch on a back shoulder throw from Freeman. He beat rookie cornerback Rashaan Melvin, who had very good coverage on the veteran receiver, who was recently given a contract extension.

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson and Freeman weren’t on the same page on a rep early on in the red zone drill. Jackson ran a fade route but Freeman proceeded to throw the ball to the inside, which should have been intercepted by the cornerback. 

A highlight reel catch was recorded by receiver David Douglas against Melvin near the end of the drill. The undrafted cornerback had very good coverage on the play but Douglas adjusted to the back shoulder throw, stuck out his arm and plucked the ball out of the air. Melvin was praised by head coach Greg Schiano after the play.

“Good job, corner,” Schiano yelled to Melvin.  

A receiver fighting for the third receiver job, Tiquan Underwood, made a spectacular leaping catch in the back corner of the endzone against cornerback Anthony Gaitor. The other receiver in contention for the job, Kevin Ogletree, didn’t flash as much as Underwood at Monday’s practice. 

During a 7-on-7 walk-thru period, running back Peyton Hillis ran a route incorrectly and rookie quarterback Mike Glennon quickly stopped him and helped the newcomer correct his mistake. It was nice to see Glennon take the reigns as a leader, even though it was just a walk-thru period. 

After walk-thrus, the team worked on both its rushing offense and run-stopping defense with a 9-on-9 rushing drill, which featured only running plays and took the cornerbacks and wide receivers off the field.

Linebacker Lavonte David impressed during this drill, making his way through the offensive line and bottling up Leonard in the backfield on one play. Linebacker Najee Goode also burst through the line and tackled James in the backfield for a loss on another play.

The offensive line got back at the defense later in this drill though, opening up a big hole for Hillis to plow his way through and get behind the linebackers for a nice gain on the play. 

Guard Jermon Meredith impressed in particular, showing off his athleticism pulling out and creating lanes for the teams rushers. On one play, Meredith made it all the way to the second level and delivered a crushing block on safety Ahmad Black which freed up James to run through the secondary and down the sideline for a touchdown.

After that, the team ran a drill that featured two running backs and a tight end going up against three linebackers and a defensive end in which the linebackers covered the tight end and running backs receiving out of the backfield.

On one of the most impressive plays of Monday’s practice, quarterback Dan Orlovsky through a post corner fade route to Miller, who was blanketed by David on the play and made a great, juggling catch on the sideline.

Orlovsky came back on the next play to complete a post pattern to tight end Tim Wright on the opposite side of the field against linebacker Adam Hayward. Wright beat Hayward by about five yards on the play and would have scored in a game situation.

Quarterback Adam Webber then came in and competed a flat pass to Leonard out of the backfield, who had about 10 yards of separation on Goode and caused the second-year linebacker to curse in frustration.

During the 11-on-11 period, Crabtree was met hard by David on a screen pass. If the drill was a game situation, David would have rocked the former Green Bay Packer. Later in the session, the offense tried to run another tight end screen pass to Noble, but the pass was bobbled and eventually dropped by the former Toledo Rocket. The tight end screen play has been used quite often by the Buccaneers offense thus far at training camp, along with middle screens to the running backs.

A sack would have been recorded by Te’o-Nesheim on Glennon near the end of the session. The pass-rusher dipped his way around tackle Mike Remmers and touched the quarterback for a would-be sack. 

David recorded a sack during the 11-on-11 session against Freeman. The former Nebraska star came unblocked off of the right side and had a clear path to the quarterback. Linebacker Mason Foster got his hands on Freeman too, coming through the A-gap untouched on an inside blitz. 

Cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Mike Adams also got into the pass rushing action, recording sacks from corner blitzes on Freeman and Glennon, respectively.

Freeman threw a terrible pass to the left side of the field where rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks failed to record the interception. The pass, which was intended for Jackson, bounced off of the rookies’ hands and onto the ground.

Gorrer got in some work with the-first team defense during this session. 

Jackson, who ran a seam route from the slot receiver position, dropped a pass from Freeman in the endzone. It was a rare drop for the playmaking receiver, but it was a costly one in this situation. Freeman made a lot of questionable decisions at Monday’s practice.

Melvin swatted away a pass that was headed for Douglas, who was running a post route to the end zone. On another play during 7-on-7's, Melvin had a great jump on a Freeman pass and would have had an interception on the play if the ball didn’t fall through his hands. Melvin has had a great start to camp and if he continues to play like he has been, the former Nortern Illinois standout should have a very good chance to make the final roster.

After the red zone installation portion of practice, the players broke off into individual groups for one last time and the defense worked on a variety of turnover drills. Each group would rotate to a different station every minute and work on stripping the ball from the quarterback, forcing fumbles, recovering fumbles and catching interceptions.

The final portion of practice consisted of a two-minute drill featuring the starting offense going up against the starting defense. The team blasted crowd noise from the sideline to create a game day feel of that pressure situation.

Early on in the two-minute drill, Melvin deflected a ball headed towards Williams, who was running a drag route across the middle. Melvin trailed Williams closely and made a great play on the football before Williams could get his hands on it. 

Clayborn recorded a sack while lined up at the left defensive end position during the two-minute drill session.

Wide receiver Chris Owusu nearly recorded a very long, 40-yard catch with time expiring, but the former Stanford Cardinal couldn’t stay in bounds, resulting in an incomplete pass.

The Buccaneers were forced to try a last-second field goal with the clock running from about 50 yards away after Freeman completed a quick slant to Williams to set up the go-ahead kick. Kicker Derek Dimke booted the ball through the goalposts, but the clock ran out at the same time as the ball was snapped.

The Bucs are scheduled to have Tuesday off due to CBA practice restrictions, but will return to the fields at One Buc Place for practice on Wednesday.

- Mark Cook, Eric Dellaratta and Andrew Scavelli contributed to this report
Last modified on Monday, 29 July 2013 17:17

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  • avatar

    Has kicker Derek Dimke even missed a kick yet in training camp? I know I'm still bothered by Tynes missing that final kick in Saturday night's practice at the stadium. I've also read about him missing kicks in practice. I say we make this a legitimate kicking competition starting with the preseason games. There were plenty of rookie kickers last year who looked great. We already know Tynes sucks beyond 50 yards so what do we have to lose?
  • avatar

    @makski...I don't think I understand this Williams-punt returning thing either....if there's one knock on Mike it has been his lack of speed....why do we want our non-speed, starting #2 WR to be returning punts...leaving aside the awful idea of him getting injured, how much success can we actually expect from that scenario....I couldn't figure this one out when I first heard it - I thought it was a joke like when Donald Penn returned a punt in last year's workouts - and now it just seems worrying...
  • avatar

    I think I may change my Fantasy Football Team name from "Don Schiano's Red Mafia" to "The Outer Banks of Revis Island"
  • avatar

    gotta admit that is clever. REVIS ISLAND and THE OUTER BANKS. that is definitely a name that should stick
  • avatar

    I agree that the o-line looks good, and can't wait for our two pro-bowlers to return. It is early, but it seems like they listed every defensive player recording a sack in this practice. We might need to work a little more on our blitz pick-up. I also do NOT like Mike Williams returning punts. Are they crazy!!?? That is just one more situation where he can get injured. We should have plenty of options not to need him there. If he goes down, we will be lining Underwood or Ogletree up across from Jackson and that will not scare many defenses. Go Bucs !!! I am going to Wednesdays practice and can't wait!! There are some things I will be keeping a close eye on. I also have to comment on Banks. He is looking FANTASTIC ! ! ! I have not yet seen ANYONE gain separation from him in a drill. The three times I saw him go up against Jackson were all incomplete passes because Banks was all over him. Also, as stated above, Mike Williams did not seem to fare any better. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it is looking like he is developing into a shutdown corner, and "You can take that to the BANK." Or, he is playing like the "Outer Banks" of an island. . . Reavis Island.
  • avatar

    Agree with that stlbucsfan (O-line is looking good)....I think much like last year (a couple of games down the stretch aside) our offense looks to be the strength...if we can just get Bowers and Clayborn to step it up, with our much improved secondary we (Freeman) won't have to make comebacks in every game - then we'll be in business! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Donald Penn is ready for this season, all the offseason criticism seems to have him playing with an even bigger chip on his shoulder. This O Line will be scary if we remain healthy and can maul teams in the second half of games. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Sounds like Penn is mad as H and not gonna take it any more! First he levels Clayborn knocking his helmet off, and now he locks up with Bowers and goes for the trifecta by doing the two-step with Gholston. lol. Penn's ready for some football! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Don't count James at RB yet. This guy has potential if given a chance.
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